About Me

The mountains are calling and I must go...Got the t shirt in Georgia one year and this is our calling! We'll see y'all down the road!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

WARNING :: A very long post with lots of pictures from our Yellowstone and Grand Teton Trip

There really are a lot of places in America with no cell service and Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are definitely on that list! With that being said, this is a really long post about our vacation. Just to be forewarned. :) 

Friday morning (the 13th) we left Pocatello with the Grand Tetons in mind.  We knew we had a drive but of course it ended up taking longer than expected. It was beautiful as we headed for Idaho Falls and then upwards to Victor, Idaho where you look down the mountains into Jackson Hole, WY.  Just gorgeous scenery.  Jackson Hole was the typical tourist town, loaded with people and vehicles parked everywhere.  Glad to get through there.
Swan Valley, Idaho

Love this

The top of the world at Victor, Idaho

Papa, Jacob, Mason, Adam, Seth and Aaron :)

Jackson Hole, WY


The beautiful Tetons!

Once we got into Grand Teton National Park, I bought an annual Senior Pass (Thanks Goza)..as I don't really need one since I'm always with Ken. Since we had two vehicles, I drove into the park and got the pass, which  was cheaper than 1 entry for the vehicle with Adam driving.  We headed through the park and started looking for campsites. It was after 1400.  Every single campground was full!  Coulter Bay has over 300 and they had just sold the last one when we arrived. They told us other places to check out and every one was full!  It was quite an adventure!  We were in Grants Village and it was nearing 1800.  Parked in the parking lot of the visitor center and the ranger told us he couldn't say we could stay in the parking lot over night and he couldn't say we can't.  Figured everyone was tired, hot and crabby so let's take a chance.  At 2130 the boys and I headed over to the amphitheater to hear a talk on bats.  About 2230 we all headed for bed. Ken  and Adam were already sleeping in case we had to move in the middle of the night.   Two boys in the Patriot, two in the Tundra and Adam actually slept on the little couch.
Lewis Lake

Fire damage and rebirth

Seth, Jacob, Adam, Aaron, Mason and Papa

Suspension bridge near the visitor center

Our spot for the night..


Here ya go Deb...Adam, Aaron, Seth, Me Jacob and Mason
Ken snapped the pic so quick I didn't know it happened..
28 years ago we were here with Russell (he was 12)
now we're at the same sign with his sons..:)

Not quite..

Beautiful..Old Faithful!

Our camp at Coulter Bay..

Adam ready for his 20.2 mile hike..

Grizzly bear..

Saturday morning (14th) We got up around 0530 and moved down the road nearer the Tetons and made some breakfast.  Long story short, we ended up with a spot at Coulter Bay around 0930. Got ourselves set up, I made some sandwiches and we headed out.  We ended up eating our "white trash lunch" in the parking lot of Old Faithful.  The geyser was going to go off around 1522 so we decided to wait.  Took a trip to the gift shop and spent some$$.  We had already visited the one in the Tetons. $$..oh well, it's vacation right?!

Back home, we got dinner ready. Ken bar b q ued some pork chops to perfection.  I made mashed potatoes and veggies and pretty much the boys wolfed it down! Ken made a fire and we had some smorfs to go with.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

oops..I missed one..Aaron, Papa, Mason Jacob and Seth

Traffic near the geysers

Adam after the hike..

Boys sitting around..

Traffic waiting to enter the Tetons!!

Saying good bye to the Tetons..Seth, Jacob, Mason, Aaron and Adam

Sunday morning (15th)we got Adam up when we got up and he ate and then packed his backpack, took the Patriot and headed to Jenny Lake.  His plan in the Tetons was to take a nice day hike. Of course we (well me , my sisters back home, along with his mom) worried about him all day.  He made it back surprisingly early (around 1900 or so) and he had taken a 20.2 mile hike.  He did encounter a bear, did what he was supposed to do and the bear took off.  No bear spray needed, but he had a canister. He said it was beautiful, but you could tell he was whipped. Adam took these next 3 pics on his walk called "Solitude"..

The rest of us loaded into the Tundra and headed up the east side of Yellowstone that we hadn't seen yet this trip.  It's a long way to anywhere in these parks, so nice to have beautiful scenery to look at.  We were hoping for a large herd of Bison, but not many to be seen.  We did see a grizzly bear enjoying his morning. Of course that always means a traffic jam, since people will pull over anywhere.

We headed for "The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" which I would have to say is my favorite place in the park.  Artists Point and the trail to the upper falls were closed (darn it)..so the short trail to Upper Falls it was along with hundreds of other people. It's beautiful but it doesn't give you the view and the close up beauty that the lower falls does. So off we went.  We found a picnic place up country a bit and had our lunch. Lots of mosquitos there too. By then it was time to head back towards camp.  We came across Norris Geysers and I said let's go see those, well that was a mistake.  After crossing the highway traffic stopped!  All lined up for a parking place for the geysers..so after waiting a bit and then being able to make a u turn off we went. Down the road the same thing, people trying to get into another geyser and the road was stopped for a long way.  Felt sorry for the people who just wanted to move on! They couldn't. 

When we got back to camp, loaded up some of their dirty clothes and took their dirty bodies to the laundromat / shower business just a bit from camp. We threw their clothes in 2 machines and they proceeded to get a shower. Not bad, $13.25 for up to five people in a family or $4.25 a piece.  Believe me, they got their monies worth.  I went to the little grocery and picked up a few things..surprising I know. haha. After they were done, I got them some hand scooped ice cream and once they were finished we headed back to camp.  

Adam came back and told us about his adventure.  Some more talking and we all hit the sack.  

Monday (16th) was moving day so we got ourselves going and loaded up. We were headed for Craters of the Moon National Monument outside of Arco, Idaho. A lot of the ride was back the way we came, up the mountain to Victor, Idaho and then through Swan Valley to Idaho Falls.  Idaho Falls we stopped at Walmart  and had lunch.  After lunch I ran into Walmart and picked up some more groceries. Uhh..I know not my favorite thing to do, but with 5 teenagers it's got to be done more often. So off we went to the park. We've never had a problem there getting a site and luckily we didn't again.  We actually took 2 right next to each other so there was plenty of room for the ez up and cots. 
Near Victor, Idaho..

Arco, Idaho..each year the class paints a rock with it's year..
I'm thinking the tradition has stopped now..

Downtown Arco

Craters of the Moon..

Adam caving

Jacob coming through

While we were setting up the boys got in the Patriot (with the exception of Adam who had already set off on a hike) and explored the park. They love the underground caves of lava!  Once they came back, dinner was served and off they went again. They went to the amphitheater for the 2130 show, but came back shortly after.  The thunder had started so they cut the talk short. No rain, but a beautiful show of thunder and lightning off in the distance. Kind of cool the boys were all up on the rocks and you could hear the little kid in them with the excitement of watching the show going on around them.  They're all so grown up most of the time, I loved listening to them being so excited. 

Tuesday morning (17th) we got up and got the boys fed. I wanted to make lunch  and clean up so we told them to go ahead and we'd find them later in the park. Either that or we knew they'd be back for lunch..haha. As it was by the time we found them they were headed back to camp because it was lunchtime. We ended up eating at a picnic table near the parking lot.  That done, we all headed over to the visitor center to watch the movie they have on the park. We visited the gift shop too $$ later and back to camp. Ken bar b qued something (at this point I forget)  and we just enjoyed the evening. 
The loves of my life!Ready for lunch...

We were sitting around talking and somehow got started on Democracy?!  I forget how it got started, but talking about the Pilgrims and how they wanted to leave the rule of England.  Believe me none of this stuff interests me and didn't in school either but Listening to these kids I was really impressed with what they knew and remembered from school.  We were really impressed with Aaron (going into 8th grade) as his impression was different from the other ones. In the end Ken and I both agreed and saw where he was coming from ...you had to be there..but I think that kid needs to be a lawyer when he grows up. He'd be great at arguing his point of view on a debate team too. Interesting evening to say the least. 

Wednesday morning (18th) we got ourselves fed and loaded up. Goodbye Craters of the Moon National Monument.  All of our grandkids have now visited there along with the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. :)   Our goal was South Park outside of Elko, NV.  It's the newest State Park in Nevada. It's about 14 miles outside of Elko. Of course we made a stop at Smith's for a few more groceries :(
We found the park and found a spot overlooking the lake. The lake was too inviting so we took the trail down and the boys played for a few hours.  It was really hot so the water felt wonderful.  Back to camp and then most boys headed for the showers.  For those of you without the State Park pass it's $15.00 a night for camping. There are picnic tables, shade covers and a fire pit. There is a dump station and potable water. I'd definitely go back.  We were in the East side campground. There is a west side right on the water, but more of the party area according to the camp volunteer. 

Ken brought me a Corona Light and my hat..happy camper

Our view of the lake

Two of the boys Aaron and Mason..

Adam's happy

Papa looks happy too..

Thursday (19th) we were in go mode, I made sandwiches while it was still cool and into the frig they went.  We ate in the Big R lot in Winnemucca and then finished our trek toward home. Got here around 1630 pretty much what we expected.  Pretty lazy evening, I made tacos for dinner and then they watched some movies. 

Friday (20th) was a do laundry day so I could send the boys home with clean clothes. Adam left for home first thing after breakfast. The boys were pretty much exhausted and just hung out on their phones and played video games on the PS4 Mason had brought. They had wifi service!  haha. Papa bar b qued some burgers and I made some fries for dinner. Then a half gallon of ice cream was devoured by the 4. Some Oreo's too. Everyone called it a night fairly early.
They're happy to be home too..

Our rainbow last night

Saturday (21st).  Got some bacon going after coffees and then at 0700 got the boys up.  Ken offered to take Jacob and Aaron home to Antelope, CA and I could get some cleaning done.  Seth and Mason headed home their way to Cool, CA. Seth would have taken all the boys, but it would have been a tight fit! They all left just about 0800. I was able to get the Jayco put back together and all the bedding washed and back on every bed, but the bunkhouse. Sheets are clean, just need to be put on in the am.  
Aaron Seth Jacob and Mason..

I love these egg rings I ordered ..perfect for egg mc muffins..

What a great trip we had and I'm thinking the boys felt the same. I love the fact we were able to have all 5 one more year.  With them getting older (19, 16, 16, 13, 13) and having jobs, along with sports it's difficult. We do appreciate the parents letting them come with us for these special times. :)  Love watching the different personalities develop the closer they get to adulthood. 

I know as a kid the best times of summer were when we would head for Arkansas for 2 weeks of cousin time!  Special memories and I hope the boys will remember these times forever as I do. :)  This grandma loves those boys so much. (Papa does too)..

These are a few pics Adam sent me from their hike at Lamoille Canyon to Liberty Lake and from his hike in the Tetons..

On the way to Liberty Lake

Mountain climbing..his new passion

Seth on the Liberty Lake trail..

View from our campsite..


  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Loved every bit of this. Elva...

  2. What fun times together and memories of good times with their cousins, some of my find memories as well.

    1. Thanks George. Even though they all live within 30 miles or so of each other it doesn't happen often..I love having them all together.

  3. How wonderful! This sounds and looks like an awesome trip with the boys. I can tell you are happy, completely happy. The pictures are great, the smiles proof of the memories stored and I've forgotten so many things I wanted to comment on.
    Thank you for the trip!

    1. You're right Patsy I am happy..of course a little lonely today but I'll get over it. We love the times we can spend with them. I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

  4. No doubt this trip will be a favorite memory for all of you. As the years go by, and the boys get busy with their own families, they will think back to simpler times like this with gma and papa.

    1. Awww. that's sweet Don. Like i've said before, we're just so happy we got one more year in with all 5. They make our hearts happy to be blessed with some great kids!